Cannonball

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Dick Van Dyke

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Dick Van Dyke
Guests: 
Margaret Wappler

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Photo by Jesse Thorn

Dick Van Dyke on His Early Years in Television, Worrying Less, and Owning Up to the Worst English Accent in Film History

For over 70 years, Dick Van Dyke has been an entertainer of stage, film and television. His work has garnered him generations of fans as well as numerous honors including a Grammy, a Tony and several Emmy awards.

Though he initially sought out a career in radio, he was soon performing on the stage and on the new medium of television, which included the classic comedy, The Dick Van Dyke Show created by Carl Reiner. Along with his many other television appearances, Dick Van Dyke has starred in films that are still family favorites decades after they were made, including Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Dick Van Dyke joined Jesse to talk about landing the lead role in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway despite not being a trained singer or dancer, his memories of working with a very young Mary Tyler Moore, his alcoholism and getting sober, and how he maintains a healthy physical and mental lifestyle in his nineties.

Dick Van Dyke’s new book, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging is available now.

Canonball with Margaret Wappler on Bjork’s Post

Every so often we like to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. It's Canonball.

This week we're joined by the pop culture critic and writer Margaret Wappler. She'll talk about Bjork’s 1995 album, Post. This album served as the follow-up to Bjork’s first album, Debut. The album went beyond being a repetition of what she had created before, and served as "a breakout work of feminine emotional electronica".

Margaret Wappler’s essay on Bjork can be found in the anthology Here She Comes Now. Margaret’s novel, Neon Green will be out in July. She can also be heard as our sister-podcast, Pop Rocket.

The Outshot: Ralph Lauren

Jesse will tell you about how Ralph Lauren captures the shared American-ness of Sonia Sotomayor, Jay-Z and Donald Trump. (You can find his video interview for Put This On here.)

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Bob Odenkirk

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bob Odenkirk


Valerie Macon/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Bob Odenkirk: Cult-Comedy Icon, Reluctant Celebrity

Millions of Breaking Bad fans know Bob Odenkirk as sleazy criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman. He’ll be reprising the role in February in the spin-off show Better Call Saul.

But comedy fans already knew about Odenkirk from another show -- Mr. Show with Bob and David. Odenkirk’s outrageous and profanity-ridden outbursts were a staple of his performances and helped make him a cult-comedy icon.

Before that he wrote for Saturday Night Live. Perhaps his most notable work was co-writing the sketch Down by the River The bit featured a 35-year-old divorcee motivational speaker played by Chris Farley and is considered one of the best sketches in the history of the SNL.

When Mr. Show ended, Odenkirk appeared in a number of one-off roles for TV before working behind the camera. He directed Let’s Go to Prison, Melvin Goes to Dinner and The Brothers Solomon. Even though he loves directing, it’ll be a while before he decides to gives it another shot. He’ll explain.

Odenkirk talks to us about why writing timeless humor is so difficult, transitioning from comedy to drama and why he still doesn’t consider himself a celebrity.

Odenkirk will also read a selection from his new collection of short-fiction humor. It’s called A Load of Hooey and is available now.

Odenkirk also just released his debut stand-up comedy special, Amateur Hour. We'll be showcasing a clip from it in our Best Comedy of 2014 Special at the end of the year.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.

Cannonball: Touring Parliament's Mothership Connection with Rickey Vincent

Every so often we like to take a closer look at albums that should be considered classics, to find out what makes them great. It's Cannonball.

This week we're joined by author, historian and self-described funkateer, Rickey Vincent. He's going to talk about Parliament's landmark R&B album, Mothership Connection. The album is at once a celebration of the past and a glimpse into the future. It touches on a lot of traditional soul ideas, but delivered with a new funky edge. Vincent will explain more.

Vincent has a new book out. It's called PARTY MUSIC: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. You can also hear his radio show The History of Funk on KPFA.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this interview.

The Outshot: Why Can't We Live Together by Timmy Thomas

Jesse tells us about a song that makes him imagine a better world: the simple but powerful Why Can't We Live Together by Timmy Thomas.

If you liked this, share it! Click here for a streaming, embeddable version of this segment.

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